In an announcement on Wednesday, the Trump administration proposed for shrinking the habitat of endangered red wolves in the wild alongside giving landowners more freedom for killing any of the animals that enter private property. According to different conservation groups, this proposal is intended as an extinction sentence that would wipe the remaining wild wolves from the face of this planet.

Presently, the estimate of remaining wild red wolves is at 35 and all of them are found in eastern North Carolina and almost a decade ago the count of the animals was 120. Presently 200 of the wolves are living in captive breeding programs. According to the proposal of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the territory of the wolves would be limited to federal land in two counties in North Carolina alongside excluding restrictions for killing wolves that stray from the demarcated area. This proposal would take several months for coming into effect.

In a statement to reporters on Wednesday, the assistant regional director for the agency, Leopoldo Miranda stated that the proposal has taken the optimal available aspects of science and biology of the red wolf into account. The sustainability of the declining wild population was found to be compromised according to a recent government report which also emphasized on the threat of extinction of the wolves within a decade. At one time, the wild red wolves were commonly found across the Southeast but since 1980 the red wolf is classified as extinct in the wild. Presently, the property owners in five counties have to obtain special permission for killing or trapping the wolves.

According to Miranda, there would be no requirement of special permission for killing the wolves that stray from the proposed demarcated area of almost 200,000 acres. However, the statement of the southeast program director of a non-profit organization Defenders of Wildlife, Ben Prater, implies that the proposed area would only accommodate 15 wolves and the wanderers would have to face imminent death. Federal officials have estimated that the finalization of the proposal would take until November and for now, the red wolves would be subject to governance by the existing rules and restrictions issued by a federal judge.

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